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Griffith East Preschool Inc’s philosophy emphasizes the importance of promoting, supporting and implementing child-initiated, play-orientated and educator-guided early childhood curriculum/programs. In addition, we believe this approach should be negotiated between and also relevant to children, educators, families and the community.
Children and Learning:
We view children as powerful, capable and active learners and explorers who acquire knowledge and skills in their early years, which form the foundation for their future learning. Additionally, children’s learning is enhanced through a collaborative and communicative process and should be recognized as being both individually and socially constructed. Therefore, children’s social and cultural contexts and the interactions, language experiences within them influence their learning. Children also learn when they are interested, motivated and actively involved in the direction of their own learning. Therefore, we believe children learn potentially through play-based experiences that provide opportunities to refine and extend upon their interests, concepts, ideas and existing knowledge and skills. Furthermore, children are unique individuals that learn and progress across all areas of development in individual and diverse ways and paces. Consequently, when a child’s uniqueness and individuality is accepted and respected they develop a positive self-esteem and self-image and feel respected and valued in a secure environment. This is when children learn most effectively as how they perceive themselves can affect their confidence, motivation and their overall ability to learn and grow into contributing members of society.
The promotion of children’s learning and well-being, in early childhood services is directly linked to the successful design and development of appropriate early childhood curriculum/programs. Early Childhood Educators at Griffith East Preschool believe that we have an important responsibility to provide individualised programs, plans and experiences that respond to children’s unique needs and levels of development.
Ideally, appropriate curriculum for children should be child-initiated, play-oriented and educator-guided with educators committed to:
Working with Families/Partnerships/ Secure, Respectful and Reciprocal Relationships:
Consequently, to provide successful child-initiated and developmentally appropriate plans and programs, educators need to gain accurate understanding of children and their unique needs. In respect to this educators should work together with others involved in children’s learning to negotiate the direction of the program. Plans should therefore acknowledge, explore and extend children’s interests, ideas and abilities, consider the expectations and values of families and the community and reflect the values, experiences and beliefs of educators. Educators need also to acknowledge and value our own Indigenous heritage and that of the wider community – locally, nationally and internationally and incorporate these values and knowledge into our programs. Consequently, this requires educators establishing positive, respectful relationships with children and families, based on communication and meaningful interactions.
Ongoing Learning and Reflective Practice:
Additionally, educators should observe and document children’s play and involvement in the program to assist in the evaluation and further planning of children’s progressive learning and development. Finally, the quality and effectiveness of programs and teaching strategies and practices are reflective of the professional growth and development of educators. Therefore educators should engage in lifelong learning, continuous critical self-reflection of their practices and professionalism and commit to growing and evolving both personally and professionally through self- directed learning.
Griffith East Preschool Inc is committed to supporting educators to achieve professional development through ongoing learning in current Early Childhood theories and practices.